Lebanese-Canadian philosopher Gad Saad recently tweeted about Hungary, sharing with his 800,000 followers on X (Twitter) what a pleasant experience he had here when he visited a few years ago. He brought this up in the context of the—often anti-semitic—pro-Palestinian demonstrations taking place across the Western world, in the wake of the Hamas-Israel war. He noticed that there are not any of those happening in Hungary.
Saad tagged Balázs Orbán, Political Director to the Prime Minister of Hungary, in the tweet to inquire about the issue. Orbán replied: ‘The motto here is: Protect the Hungarian people, not socially insane ideas! If you visit Hungary again, have a great time once more!’.
What he omitted here is that such protests are actually prohibited in Hungary.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that the Hungarian government will not permit any ‘sympathy protests for terrorists’
in mid-October of last year. A pro-Palestine demonstration was already being planned in Budapest in front of the Foreign Ministry building when the ban was announced.
What Is the Meaning of ‘From the River to the Sea’?
The phrase ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free’, which Saad referenced in his tweet is often heard at pro-Palestinian protests. It is generally considered anti-semitic.
That is because ‘the River’ refers to the River Jordan, while ‘the Sea’ part refers to the Mediterranean Sea. Thus the chant implies that the Islamist state of Palestine should control all the area between the two bodies of water, doing away with the Jewish state of Israel entirely.
It is no wonder that Gad Saad is sensitive to Islamist aggression in the Middle East. As a child, he had to flee to Canada with his family to escape the Lebanese Civil War. The Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975, when Saad was 11, when Muslim insurgents rose up against the Christian-led government of the country.